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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #26  
Old 08-28-2014, 04:53 PM
listerone listerone is offline
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Originally Posted by swajames View Post
The thing that stuck out for me, though, was the transmission - it was just mediocre, nowhere near as good as the ZF 8 speed in the 435 I drove...
Although I liked my Bluetec a lot I was underwhelmed by the transmission.In fact,I had it to the dealer several times and was told each time was told "all is normal".
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  #27  
Old 08-29-2014, 08:32 AM
weinschela weinschela is offline
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I am writing with some background on M-B and BMW. I have owned both. M-Bs included C-class, E-Class and S-Class. In our family we have two E350s, a 2009 and a 2014, both wagons. On the BMW side we have a 2008 E61 and a 2014 F10 (535)(mine) and have had over the years 3's, 5's, a 7 and two 850s. My wife drives a Mercedes wagon (we both wish BMW would bring the F11 to the US). I agree with the comparisons that have been made above and will add some additional ones:

1. Styling - I will not comment too much on styling as this varies too much and is even more subjective than the other issues flagged. For a time I was driving MBs because the Bangle-butted E60s were such an incredible turn off. Now I think things have flipped and the 5's are much better looking than E classes. But as I said this is purely subjective.

2. Electronics. Even my wife, who loves her E350 wagon, concedes that the BMW electronics are far easier to manage than the MB. This after we all complain about iDrive complexity and glitches.

3. Safety. They are comparable. The MB has more aggressive interventionist safety features that will take over, moving the wheel, for example. The BMW is more informational, leaving to the driver how to react. The F10 has heads up display, which I consider a key safety feature and MB did not offer that in the E350 we bought.

4. Interior ergonomics (seats, etc). A draw.

5. Handling and performance: My wife once said "I would rather be a passenger in a Mercedes but I would rather drive a BMW". Doesn't that sum it all up?
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  #28  
Old 08-29-2014, 02:16 PM
Robert A Robert A is offline
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I keep wanting to like a Mercedes. But there's very little about their current generation that feels German and much more that feels very marketing driven. They seem to be moving into a "faux" direction with lots of sporty styling accents that suggests an incongruity as compared to the underlying vehicle. These comments are more addressed to the current E Class, which is the last car of theirs that I drove.

My one hope is that BMW will step up the interior quality of the F30 soon. I agree that it has fallen way behind the competition.
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Last edited by Robert A; 08-29-2014 at 02:18 PM.
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  #29  
Old 08-29-2014, 03:11 PM
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K-A K-A is offline
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Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
I keep wanting to like a Mercedes. But there's very little about their current generation that feels German and much more that feels very marketing driven. They seem to be moving into a "faux" direction with lots of sporty styling accents that suggests an incongruity as compared to the underlying vehicle. These comments are more addressed to the current E Class, which is the last car of theirs that I drove.

My one hope is that BMW will step up the interior quality of the F30 soon. I agree that it has fallen way behind the competition.
I agree, M-B has become so "faux" in essence and marketing driven, that there doesn't seem to be a focus on substance as much as fluff there. After they fell behind in worldwide luxury sales to not only BMW but Audi, they started really getting desperate, and aggressive in all the wrong ways, IMO.

BMW on the other hand made a great F30, IMO, however the interior looks too clearly cost cut. Mercedes obviously called their bluff in that regard and for the first time in a long time, didn't copy/follow BMW and actually went their own way (for the better).

Between the two I still prefer the F30 as with the M Sport package (and of course especially "M3 package") it just looks and drives better, but the C's interior if for a similar price as an F30 makes it really compelling to choose it. The F30 also makes much better use of its interior space. IMO it comes down to engineering vs fluff again, with the F30 shining in the former, and the C in the latter.

Makes the next gen of 5 vs E seem really interesting. Though BMW still holding such a foothold in the interior department means their dynamics are much different. The W212 has the "F30" interior between the two, and it's clear that M-B are gonna do something pretty crazy with the next E interior (unless they drop the ball again). BMW on the other hand don't have to do much to keep the next 5 at the pinnacle of segment interior, they just have to actually put some effort in and properly improve on a winning aspect. I wonder if BMW will get caught resting on their laurels and M-B will run past the next 5 in interior, or if BMW will shut them out again by ensuring what the F10 started in interior quality doesn't get surpassed by the next E.
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  #30  
Old 08-29-2014, 08:44 PM
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Thanks for the thorough review, great perspective. Just last week I drove a friends 2013 C63 AMG. I realize your test drive was a non-AMG model, but I shared many of your sentiments for the features that are shared between the two models. If I can add anything, it is this: the naturally aspirated V8 is damn impressive. I particularly enjoyed the sound. As refined as it is, the C63 felt so much more raw and powerful than what I am used to with my 550. These are all beautiful machines with their own set of strengths. I'm not sure it got me thinking MB for my next purchase, but I'm absolutely thinking about an M car for my daily driver.
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  #31  
Old 08-29-2014, 09:21 PM
namelessman namelessman is online now
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Originally Posted by K-A View Post
Makes the next gen of 5 vs E seem really interesting. Though BMW still holding such a foothold in the interior department means their dynamics are much different. The W212 has the "F30" interior between the two, and it's clear that M-B are gonna do something pretty crazy with the next E interior (unless they drop the ball again). BMW on the other hand don't have to do much to keep the next 5 at the pinnacle of segment interior, they just have to actually put some effort in and properly improve on a winning aspect. I wonder if BMW will get caught resting on their laurels and M-B will run past the next 5 in interior, or if BMW will shut them out again by ensuring what the F10 started in interior quality doesn't get surpassed by the next E.
One major weakness of F10 is its weight, it is non-trivial to haul 3800lb-4300lb with grace(hence the need of ARS and damper control), hopefully the next 5-series will address that.

Last edited by namelessman; 08-29-2014 at 09:33 PM.
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  #32  
Old 08-30-2014, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by kk22 View Post
Yes, Hyundai's initial cannibalization would likely start with the Japanese brands. Lexus, Acura, Infiniti. Very unlikely that the German product customer will seriously consider it. The Japanese have been trying to capture the "Germanness" for decades and even they haven't really succeeded.
I have a different take on that. When the Lexus LS400 came out, it had many attributes from a comfort and luxury standpoint that made the German cars a little stark and harsh - a little too German. The Germans responded by softening their cars a bit, and making the interiors especially more warm and inviting like the Lexus. I think what has happened is that the Germans kept what worked for them, and actually adopted more of what helped put Lexus on the map.
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  #33  
Old 08-30-2014, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by K-A View Post
[...]

I will say that the next gen E Class shouldn't be a threat to the next 5 in exterior design to me,.if the S and C are to go by, but it's almost frightening to think how nice the interior could be if M-B actually do it right this time, and if the C is anything to go by.
If prior E classes are anything to go by, the new model will break M-B's design language.
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  #34  
Old 09-01-2014, 02:29 AM
namelessman namelessman is online now
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Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
My one hope is that BMW will step up the interior quality of the F30 soon. I agree that it has fallen way behind the competition.
MY15 F30 can be optioned with leather dashboard(MSRP $950), it requires one of the lines plus Dakota leather. The 428i on showroom floor has leather dash and it noticeably improves the cabin quality.

MY15 C-class also appears at local MB dealer. The interior is a class above the F30 interior with plastic dashboard, although the F30 leather dashboard may narrow the gap quite a bit. I did not have time to test drive it(a C300) but it would be interesting to see if it is mini-E(it surely looks as big) handling and performance wise, or not.

Last edited by namelessman; 09-01-2014 at 02:32 AM.
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  #35  
Old 09-01-2014, 04:08 AM
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To the point: The 3 is outclassed inside, by a massive margin, yet maintains its lead in design and driving dynamics, IMO. And you'd have to be INSANELY CRAZY to get a current E Class with its massacred flip-flop design over the new C.
MB has never been the sport sedan that BMW has been, MB knows where it needs to be and that is the luxury that BMW will have, whether it is in the 3 series class or 7 series class. The interior of the MY15 C class is nicer then the current F30 and it can stay that way. But for a C class to be 50K and not fully loaded, wonder what a C400 will go for, MB is reaching past the F30..
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  #36  
Old 09-01-2014, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
MY15 F30 can be optioned with leather dashboard(MSRP $950), it requires one of the lines plus Dakota leather. The 428i on showroom floor has leather dash and it noticeably improves the cabin quality.

MY15 C-class also appears at local MB dealer. The interior is a class above the F30 interior with plastic dashboard, although the F30 leather dashboard may narrow the gap quite a bit. I did not have time to test drive it(a C300) but it would be interesting to see if it is mini-E(it surely looks as big) handling and performance wise, or not.
I haven't seen the new C-Class interior in person, but the F30 needs something besides a leather dashboard. I had an F30 loaner 1 time and the underwhelming impression it made on me was long-lasting. I had 2 3-series (E46 and E90) before my F10's, and the E90 especially had a nicer interior than the F30. The seats look cheap, have almost no bolstering at all, they are almost totally flat. The door trim looks cheap, with the "tack on" ambient light strip (if that is what it is). Even the central console door was totally cheapened by removing the levered opening latch and replaced with a cheap latch similar to a microwave door, it just pulls open or slams shut with a very cheap "pop". BMW knows what it did with the F30 interior and they need to reverse this trend ASAP. It's borderline shameful on a $50K, or even $40K car, IMO.
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  #37  
Old 09-01-2014, 08:53 AM
namelessman namelessman is online now
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Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
I haven't seen the new C-Class interior in person, but the F30 needs something besides a leather dashboard. I had an F30 loaner 1 time and the underwhelming impression it made on me was long-lasting. I had 2 3-series (E46 and E90) before my F10's, and the E90 especially had a nicer interior than the F30. The seats look cheap, have almost no bolstering at all, they are almost totally flat. The door trim looks cheap, with the "tack on" ambient light strip (if that is what it is). Even the central console door was totally cheapened by removing the levered opening latch and replaced with a cheap latch similar to a microwave door, it just pulls open or slams shut with a very cheap "pop". BMW knows what it did with the F30 interior and they need to reverse this trend ASAP. It's borderline shameful on a $50K, or even $40K car, IMO.
The F30 removable latch cover is kind of cool, the pop mechanism is over-designed, but it brightens up the boring yet functional cup holders.

F30 does have lots more hard plastic panels than F10(which is a trim above by design), do E46 and E90 also have such panels so are they soft-touch plastic like F10?

The F30 seats(standard or sport) are handicapped by the reduced shoulder room versus F10, the standard ones do look flat, but it provides easy access in and out of cabin. To me the Dakota leather on F30 is a step below the F10.

From the current F30 lineups, it can be argued that it is built as a $30k car(e.g. 320i), and for that price the interior, handling, chassis, and engine tech are not too shabby. On the other hand, the new C-class is built as a $40k car mini-E, which probably will sell quite well.

Last edited by namelessman; 09-01-2014 at 08:58 AM.
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  #38  
Old 09-01-2014, 09:06 AM
Bmwlvr60 Bmwlvr60 is offline
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Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
MY15 F30 can be optioned with leather dashboard(MSRP $950), it requires one of the lines plus Dakota leather. The 428i on showroom floor has leather dash and it noticeably improves the cabin quality.

MY15 C-class also appears at local MB dealer. The interior is a class above the F30 interior with plastic dashboard, although the F30 leather dashboard may narrow the gap quite a bit. I did not have time to test drive it(a C300) but it would be interesting to see if it is mini-E(it surely looks as big) handling and performance wise, or not.

I'm not sure of the build differences between the 3 Series and 4 Series. All's I can say is I test drove a 428ix convertible and I wasn't thinking about dashboards and leather. It's a flat out fun driving experience. So, whatever weaknesses a car may have, they may be overlooked when you're enjoying everything else about the car!
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  #39  
Old 09-01-2014, 09:27 AM
namelessman namelessman is online now
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Originally Posted by Bmwlvr60 View Post
I'm not sure of the build differences between the 3 Series and 4 Series. All's I can say is I test drove a 428ix convertible and I wasn't thinking about dashboards and leather. It's a flat out fun driving experience. So, whatever weaknesses a car may have, they may be overlooked when you're enjoying everything else about the car!
The build quality and interior quality of 3 series and 4 series are similar, while 4 series has tighter handling, lower CG, and wider stance than 3 series. You are absolutely right about the fun driving experience, the F30 handles considerably better than F10, to the extent that I passed on a $10k off MSRP deal on a 535i 2 years ago to get into a spartan F30(to replace my old E39).
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  #40  
Old 09-01-2014, 09:43 AM
Bmwlvr60 Bmwlvr60 is offline
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The build quality and interior quality of 3 series and 4 series are similar, while 4 series has tighter handling, lower CG, and wider stance than 3 series. You are absolutely right about the fun driving experience, the F30 handles considerably better than F10, to the extent that I passed on a $10k off MSRP deal on a 535i 2 years ago to get into a spartan F30(to replace my old E39).
Good stuff.

Next time you're looking for a new BMW I highly recommend you check out the 5 Series again if you want something different. Starting with the 2014 the 5 Series handling has improved and the suspension has been tightened up. 3 and 4 Series are still more fun to drive cars, but the 5 Series is even a nicer combination of Sport, performance and Luxury than it was a couple of years ago.
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  #41  
Old 09-01-2014, 10:07 AM
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markl53 markl53 is offline
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Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
The F30 removable latch cover is kind of cool, the pop mechanism is over-designed, but it brightens up the boring yet functional cup holders.

F30 does have lots more hard plastic panels than F10(which is a trim above by design), do E46 and E90 also have such panels so are they soft-touch plastic like F10?

The F30 seats(standard or sport) are handicapped by the reduced shoulder room versus F10, the standard ones do look flat, but it provides easy access in and out of cabin. To me the Dakota leather on F30 is a step below the F10.

From the current F30 lineups, it can be argued that it is built as a $30k car(e.g. 320i), and for that price the interior, handling, chassis, and engine tech are not too shabby. On the other hand, the new C-class is built as a $40k car mini-E, which probably will sell quite well.
I wasn't comparing the F30 interior to the F10, but to previous gen 3-series. The F30 interior is a definite step down from the E90 in particular. I"m also talking about the central console storage cover, not the cupholders. What was always a finger-operated opening/closing spring-loaded latch was replaced by a user non-accessible "pop" device, which to me, is a sign of saving a nickel at the added expense of cheapning the interior. They cut as many corners as they possibly could for the F30 interior. I understand the car is first a sport-sedan, and yes, that is fine. But one expects to at least maintain the quality of the generation that was replaced by the newer one.

Also, how many 320i's do you see? The average cost of most 3-series is probably close to $50K, the way option packages are now offered. A modestly equipped 328i, leather, nav, heated seats, sport line, lists for over $47K.
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Last edited by markl53; 09-01-2014 at 10:13 AM.
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  #42  
Old 09-01-2014, 10:33 AM
namelessman namelessman is online now
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Originally Posted by Bmwlvr60 View Post
Good stuff.

Next time you're looking for a new BMW I highly recommend you check out the 5 Series again if you want something different. Starting with the 2014 the 5 Series handling has improved and the suspension has been tightened up. 3 and 4 Series are still more fun to drive cars, but the 5 Series is even a nicer combination of Sport, performance and Luxury than it was a couple of years ago.
The one weakness of F30 is the lack of insulation package, namely, the cost/weight cutting means the F30 is not as well insulated as F10(nor E60/E39) heat and sound wise, for that one reason it may be worth getting into a 5-series.
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  #43  
Old 09-01-2014, 10:41 AM
namelessman namelessman is online now
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Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
I wasn't comparing the F30 interior to the F10, but to previous gen 3-series. The F30 interior is a definite step down from the E90 in particular. I"m also talking about the central console storage cover, not the cupholders. What was always a finger-operated opening/closing spring-loaded latch was replaced by a user non-accessible "pop" device, which to me, is a sign of saving a nickel at the added expense of cheapning the interior. They cut as many corners as they possibly could for the F30 interior. I understand the car is first a sport-sedan, and yes, that is fine. But one expects to at least maintain the quality of the generation that was replaced by the newer one.

Also, how many 320i's do you see? The average cost of most 3-series is probably close to $50K, the way option packages are now offered. A modestly equipped 328i, leather, nav, heated seats, sport line, lists for over $47K.
Yes, the F30 central console storage cover is a removable "pop" device, and in fact MY15 and beyond it is no longer standard. In typical German over-engineering way, the latch mechanism of the storage cover is kind of complex, and adds to it "sophisticated" feel. As far as plastic panel galore, the latest Porsche Macan is also in good company of F30 on that front, it looks like many automakers are following similar playbook.

BTW, 328i+ZSL+leather+Nav+heated seats is $45k MSRP, although MY14 of this config can currently go for $38k with incentives.

Last edited by namelessman; 09-01-2014 at 05:42 PM.
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  #44  
Old 09-06-2014, 07:03 PM
namelessman namelessman is online now
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OK, the new C-class(even with sport) lost me at the first turn out of the parking lot. It is definitely MB ride quality, but is a major deviation from the outgoing C-class. BMW should have no problem holding on its core customer base, although those seeking for richly appointed interior may opt for a C-class over the F30(or maybe even over F10). The most unfortunate part of the whole C-class is the rear end, the tapered design looks like MB runs out of sheet metal on the assembly line or something.
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  #45  
Old 09-06-2014, 07:09 PM
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K-A K-A is offline
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Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
OK, the new C-class(even with sport) lost me at the first turn out of the parking lot. It is definitely MB ride quality, but is a major deviation from the outgoing C-class. BMW should have no problem holding on its core customer base, although those seeking for richly appointed interior may opt for a C-class over the F30(or maybe even over F10). The most unfortunate part of the whle C-class is the rear end, the tapered design looks like MB runs out of sheet metal on the assembly line or something.
Yeah it's very old-man-ish this time around, the whole design and ambiance. I think that's fitting for MB, though not something I'd want in my garage or to drive. However the Sport package looks like they mashed in boy racer elements, it's like they gave the old chap some "Molly" and let him go crazy.
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Last edited by K-A; 09-06-2014 at 07:11 PM.
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  #46  
Old 09-07-2014, 08:35 AM
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I just saw one parked on the street last time. Seemed like a base model C300. Had pretty small wheels. Looked boring.

Like any Mercedes, I think it needs the AMG pack to make it look like a proper high-end car.
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